Domestic Violence: Types of Victims

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 3
Words: 925
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: School


Domestic violence was officially acknowledged as a social and legal issue during the 1960s (Police Response, 2016). Nowadays police respond to reports of domestic violence as it does to any other kind of crime or infraction. However, domestic violence has its own set of issues that an officer should be aware of.

How to approach a domestic violence situation?

Upon the arrival at the scene of the crime, it is important to separate the conflicting parties one from another, in order to take control of the situation.

During the interview, the officer should follow these general guidelines:

  • Explain in no uncertain terms that domestic violence is a crime.
  • Implement specialized techniques and methods of interrogation to overcome fear and reluctance.
  • Investigate the scene of the crime as thoroughly as possible.

Make sure that the victim sees your words and behavior as positive (Interviewing techniques, 1995).

The information included in the report must accurately describe both sides of the story, any evidence found at the scene of the crime, statements of witnesses, history of abuse, and any obvious injuries (Form for evaluating police response, 2010).

In order to ensure the protection of all involved, the officer must secure the victim’s safety, arrest the abuser, secure and the scene of the crime, seek and administer medical aid if necessary, and seek voluntary surrender of all firearms for safekeeping purposes (Police Response, 2016).

The main mechanism of protecting the victim is the Violence against Women Act (VAWA). The protection orders and the procedures pertaining it are based on this document (Protecting victims of domestic violence, 2016).

The victims of domestic violence often return to their abusers. The reasons may include a commitment to a relationship, fear of being alone, hope for a change and many others. It takes some time for the victim to get over the facts of abuse and regain a notion of independence. Sometimes, it may take months before the parties are allowed to interact with one another, if at all (Why doesn’t she leave?, 2016).


Many states in the USA have a pro-victim policy, meaning that when the victim is identified, the perceived perpetrator is automatically arrested pending charges. In Washington, for example, it is required for the officers not to be held liable for not taking action.

When making an arrest, the officers should adhere to these guidelines when collecting evidence (Evidence collection, 2016). Things to be looking for are:

  • Signs of injuries
  • Damaged clothes
  • Broken nails
  • Broken objects or pieces of furniture
  • Weapons
  • Forensic evidence

Witness reports

The practice of dual arrests, or the one-size-fits-all strategy is implemented in some states, in order to make sure that the perpetrator is arrested when it is difficult to determine who is the victim, and who is the perpetrator. Many psychologists argue that dual arrests put additional stress on the victim and may cause long-term issues.

How to assist domestic violence victims?

Reluctant victims frequently develop a form of Stockholm Syndrome that makes them return to their abusers. Often, this behavior is detrimental to the charges pressed against the perpetrator. The officer should not dismiss a victim that is reluctant, and do everything in their power to help them overcome their fears.

Child Abuse

There are four categories of child abuse:

  • Physical abuse.
  • Psychological abuse.
  • Sexual abuse.


Neglect is different from all others form of abuse as sometimes it does not have any malicious intent behind it. Neglect is not being there for the children when they need their parents the most. This could happen due to ignorance, being occupied with 2 or 3 jobs, having a physical or mental disability or many other reasons. The legal definition of neglect states that it is a failure of a parent or a guardian to provide for the child, which could cause physical, emotional, or psychological harm (Child Neglect, 2016).

Use of guardian ad litems

A child is removed from the home when it is considered to be in his or her best interests. Those interests are determined by considering a great number of factors that take into account the child’s circumstances, the circumstances of family or singular parent. The child’s well-being and safety are being the primary concern. The factors commonly considered when making a decision of child removal from home are:

  • Mental and physical health of the parents.
  • Presence of domestic violence.
  • Mental and physical needs of a child.
  • The capacity of parents to provide food, clothing, homing, etc.

Emotional ties

The decision in termination of parental rights is made by the court. During the trial, the judge and the jury have to assess the situation based on the criteria mentioned above and make a decision considering whether or not the termination of parental rights would be in the best interests of the child (Determining the best interest of a child, 2016).

Role of social services in abuse and neglect cases

The purpose of social services is to protect and promote the welfare of children. They are very useful in providing aid to struggling families, children, and their parents, in order to facilitate a family cohesion. Every district has an appointed social worker tasked with overseeing problematic families.


In order to be able to deal with domestic violence, an officer is expected to demonstrate a great degree of restraint, mental fortitude, and self-control. Helping victims of domestic crimes, be they women, children, or men, can be difficult, but it is all part of the job.


Child Neglect. (2016). Web.

Determining the best interest of a child. (2016).

Evidence collection. (2016).

Form for evaluating police response to domestic violence. (2010).

Interviewing techniques in domestic violence cases. (1995). Web.

Police response to domestic violence. (2016). Web.

Protecting victims of domestic violence. (2016). Web.

Why doesn’t she leave?. (2016). Web.